All about Apprenticeship: Q&A

All About Apprenticeship: Q&A

Written by Eric Petersen, CIC

Responses from August Hoppe and Josh Morin

By now, most tree care owners have heard of someone within the industry utilizing apprenticeships for their employee recruitment and development, but I know there are still a lot of questions out there surrounding this topic.

For this week’s tip, I was honored to interview two of the most influential and knowledgeable tree care owners on apprenticeships, August Hoppe of Hoppe Tree Service in Milwaukee, WI and Josh Morin of We Love Trees in Niwot, CO. They both gave some fantastic answers as well as very practical guidance for tree care companies wanting to explore this further.

Q – Are tree care apprenticeships here to stay or just a fad?

August – I believe, they are here to stay for sure, and only growing. Companies that use the program see the success and keep adding more employees into it. It’s a snowball effect. In Wisconsin, we hardly have to promote the program anymore, companies just keep adding enrollees.

Josh – In my view our society and our country is embracing models of learning and career preparation that allow you to earn money while you learn, instead of the traditional academic model which has many of our young people in a lot of debt. From what I hear from young people is that they don’t want to screw themselves with unnecessary debt, and they want meaningful work with a viable career path that will give them options in the future that isn’t a dead end. In my experience Arborist apprenticeship offers this. Will they last? We’ll see.

Q – What are the benefits you’ve personally seen with making apprenticeship a part of your tree care company’s recruiting strategy?

August – We have seen more and higher quality candidates that truly want a career, not just a job.

Josh – The challenge and bottleneck for growth for many businesses in our industry has been attracting people that are interested, willing and capable of doing the work. Apprenticeship which offers a structured learning process and incremental growth plan is attractive to a different type of person. It attracts people that understand that they will have to work hard and learn along the way, but they will get something out of it in return that will be valuable to them in the future.
Our industry has a diversity opportunity, so anything we can do to speak to more people of diverse backgrounds increases the size of the funnel of people we are recruiting into our industry.

Q – Can you attribute a dollar amount of growth your company has seen to the successful implementation of the apprenticeship within your company?

August – It’s hard to put a $ sign on culture or branding. But apprenticeship has definitely helped our employees understand that they are true professionals and they carry themselves that way. It gives them confidence and pride. Customers see that every day and want to work with companies that are excellent.

Josh – I also cannot attribute a dollar amount of growth, but I can say that attracting people who want to learn and grow is fundamental to the growth of a successful business.

Q – What are some of the challenges that tree care companies run into when starting down the apprenticeship path and how can they avoid some of them?

August – It’s scary to start as it seems like a lot of work with a lot of processes. But just like anything else in life, hard work pays off when it’s completed.

Josh – The owner and leaders of the company need to believe in the model and understand that investing in training and educating their employees is a company value and is of value to their company.

If the leadership of the company does not believe in the model of apprenticeship and does not see the benefit, then they will not be interested in investing in the related learning that is required with an apprenticeship program.

Q – How much of the business owner’s time is involved in setting up the apprenticeship and maintaining it?

August – It depends on each organization. I would recommend a business owner stays involved in setting up the program, but larger outfits may be able to delegate to an HR or training and safety manager for maintaining it once the business processes are figured out. At Hoppe Tree, we use a committee approach with a few staff members responsible for different parts of the apprenticeship program, including myself.

Josh – In my experience, setting up the apprenticeship program in terms of paperwork is fairly easy and takes a few hours, then, having an administrative person, sit down with the apprentice and explain the program and register them in the database. The challenge can be working the related learning into your business model. We try to schedule this classroom time during slower periods of business like in the winter.

Q – What would be your top piece of advice to tree care company owners regarding apprenticeship?

August – It’s a great way to train your employees in a consistent manner. It can improve culture, it helps with retention of employees, it leads to better recruitment, and also it helps our whole industry become more professional. Can you imagine what our industry will be like when we have 100,000 journey worker arborists?! Please get on board with this!

Josh – I recommend taking on the apprenticeship program with the goal of starting with one employee, and getting them through the program successfully and approaching the process as an experiment, and with curiosity so that you can learn as much as possible along the way, and figure out how, and if apprenticeship really lines up with the needs of your company and its people.


Thank you, August and Josh, for your time and passion in leading this very important and exciting development in the tree care industry! For more information on apprenticeships, check out the following resources:

OutsideCareers.org – How to Use it

Outsidecareers.org – How to Use It

Written by Eric Petersen, CIC

Recruiting new employees is consistently one of the largest challenges that we hear tree care owners face while running their businesses. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main reasons, that people don’t want to talk about, is the lack of effort that individual businesses put into recruiting.

Why don’t tree care companies invest time and effort into recruiting? Well truthfully, recruiting is an activity that produces future gain and not immediate returns. With the tree care industry slowing down a bit post-pandemic, tree care owners and management have been even more focused on the short-term revenue producing activities they need to accomplish to keep the business running.

So how can you start to implement a better recruiting strategy with minimal effort? Use what’s already created for you! Visit outsidecareers.org right now to see all that is available for you to start promoting careers in arboriculture.

Outsidecareers.org has been assembled over a number of years to directly help tree care companies effectively recruit new employees to their company by highlighting all of the awesome things the tree care industry provides. Think back to when you first learned that you can make a lifelong career in arboriculture. Remember the fire that was lit inside you and how there are hundreds of thousands of people out there wanting a career like you have, but just don’t know it exists.

Outsidecareers.org can help you get the message out to those people and make your recruiting so much easier. Here are 5 ways to use the website to improve your recruiting efforts within your company.


  1.                   Home Page Content – Every website should have the most important information available on the home page and this website does just that. There are flyers, documents and videos for you to use that drive home the message about the industry and the opportunities available. The home page is a great place to send prospective employees or centers of influence so they can familiarize themselves with the industry. Content like, What is an Arborist, 7 Reasons to Become an Arborist or an explanation of the common jobs within the industry all will help you illustrate the potential in the industry.


  1.                   For Employers Page – Within the website there is an entire page dedicated specifically for employers. Inside this page, you will get access to documents on Digital Marketing Basics to help promote your business, sample postcards and flyers to use to prospective employees as well as a sample career path on the Your Adventure Begins Here document. Use these resources to target specific potential team members on a list gathered at career fair or from high school guidance counselor or local fraternal organization.


  1.                   Post a Job Page – This is possibly could be the most powerful part of the website. An active directory of available jobs within the tree care industry. Getting your open position posted on here will be seen by people that are already familiar and interested in the industry. I know what you might be thinking, but Eric, this is a national website, I only draw new employees from my local area, why should I post an open position for my company here? My only response to this is “why not?” You never know where your next superstar will come from. Promote the unique qualities of the geographic area that your business is in and try to attract people that will fit well in your community. I think you’d be surprised how many people may move to your company if they just knew you existed and needed help.  


  1.                   Promote Scholarships Page – There are many different scholarships available for students involved in arboriculture or urban forestry programs. By using this page, you can encourage current employees, prospective employees and future arborists to apply and gain further education. Being a source of information for those that want to expand their professional career is a great way to build trust and gain the opportunity for more employment referrals into the future. Plus these scholarships are already established and administered by industry organizations so all you have to do is promote them, nothing more!


  1.                   Create an Apprenticeship Program – This page talks about the advantages of establishing an apprenticeship program within your company and how to start forming it. Apprenticeships have become a new trend within the tree care industry and while they can be complex, don’t have to be. Use this information to start creating an apprenticeship program within your company and watch it start to attract new professionals to your team.


If you’re still reading this article and not surfing outsidecareers.org, I encourage you to go there now and play around with it. I’m sure you will find even more value that what I’ve outlined above. For those that want additional guidance on how to best implement some of the ideas presented on the website, reach out to an ArboRisk team member today and enroll in our Hiring & Recruiting Thrive Package.

Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-Employment Testing

Written by Eric Petersen, CIC

Employees represent the largest exposure to every tree care company. From creating liability by damaging property or injuring others, to injuring themselves, to filing lawsuits against the company or other employees, having the right employees should be of utmost concern for every business owner. And of course having the right employees can only happen if you hire the right employees. 

Unfortunately, many tree care companies hire based on an immediate need and do not take enough time to thoroughly vet the prospective employee. When this happens, all too often, the employee that is hired is not a great fit for the job or the company and ends up creating more headaches or potential liability than they should have. For more on Hiring Best Practices, check out our article here.

One way tree services can minimize the chances of making a bad hire is to use pre-employment testing during the interview process. There are many different types of pre-employment tests that can be utilized, from personality tests, to cognitive ability tests, physical ability tests, aptitude tests, however, we are going to focus on a few that you could start doing tomorrow within your tree care company. 

But before we get into a few common tests, I want to make sure to point out that no matter what you are testing for, you need to make sure the tests are related to the job the prospective employee is applying for. You also need to be clear that your offer of employment to this individual is conditional upon the successful passing of the pre-employment test(s). 


So what are some common types of pre-employment tests for the tree care industry? 

  • Driving Test – We all think we are great drivers, but reality shows us that most of us are not. Establish a driving test to assess the skill level of the prospective employee before you allow them to drive for your company. We have an entire article devoted to this topic to help you set this up within your company. 
  • Knot Tying Test – Arborists love to brag about their experience and many times someone’s resume doesn’t match their actual skill or knowledge level. Create a simple knot tying test using the 5 most common knots that your production team uses to ensure the prospective employee can showcase their knowledge with the knots. This doesn’t have to be a disqualifier if the prospective employee fails, but it is definitely a way to peer into the skills and knowledge that they have, verifying what they told you about their experience on their resume or employment application. 
  • Tree ID Test – Like the knot tying test, a simple tree ID test is a good way to understand the knowledge level of the prospective employee. Because tree species vary drastically depending on the region you work in, you may have to temper your expectations with this, but it definitely can help you assess the potential employee’s tree knowledge. 
  • Personality Profile – There are many different personality profiles that you can choose from and they all basically work the same way. Once you have decided on a specific test, have everyone on your current team take the test to set a baseline of what is desired within your company for the various positions you have. Then each prospective employee takes the test and can be compared against the company’s benchmark to determine how well they will fit within that position at your company. 
  • Physical or Ergonomic Assessment – This one is imperative to preventing from hiring a work comp claim! Work with your local Occupational Health Clinic and have them develop an assessment based on the physical skills that an individual needs for each position within your company. This gives you a chance to ensure that the prospective employee can physically do the job they will be hired for and will highlight any unresolved physical injuries that the individual may have. 

I encourage you to begin to implement one or more of these during your next hiring phase. I guarantee that over time you will hire more employees that fit long term with your company than those who fizzle out after a short period of time. 

If you would like help or guidance in creating these pre-employment test for your company, reach out to an ArboRisk team member today to enroll in our Hiring & Recruiting Thrive Package.

What Is Your Leadership Passion

What Is Your Leadership Passion?

Written by Kevin Martlage

When doing some research for this weekly tip, I ran across a January 2023 Forbes article written by John Hall titled, “With over 800 Definitions for Leadership, Here Are 5 You Need to Know and Why.” The number 800 caught my attention immediately and before reading the article I began to think to myself, are there really 800 definitions of Leadership and if so, how in the world is someone supposed to understand and utilize them all to become a great leader?  

While I pondered the question of pursuing leadership excellence and growth, I thought back to a quote from the great Vince Lombardi that provided some insight. One of the greatest football coaches of all time noted,

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

So how as a leader can we continue to ‘catch’ leadership excellence by chasing leadership perfection? My thought is you must not only define your leadership approach and style but more importantly your leadership passion. Without passion, excellence is always very difficult to pursue. There have been thousands of great leaders in this world and there will continue to be thousands more, but as a leader, how do you focus on impacting those you are leading as you ‘catch leadership excellence’ by chasing ‘perfection’? To help answer that question I’d like to provide you with some insight into my concept of defining your Leadership Passion.

Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to lead hundreds of great people across the country and around the world. While I had formal leadership training working for Xerox and Fedex Office, it was not until later in my career that I formerly defined my leadership approach and specifically my leadership passion. Understanding this was another turning point in my career and I’d like to share with you how I defined it to help you define yours.

As I think back about my career leadership opportunities, it is sometimes difficult to pin-point what specifically my approach was to each team. While I always ensured my big three (communication, transparency, and trust) were at the center of my leadership style, there was something else that I could never truly define. This missing definition was the “x-factor” or the unwritten thing that drove me to continue to strive to be a great leader. At the beginning of my career, it was all about the title, salary, and the ‘next step’ or promotion. Later, work-life balance and security became important as my wife, and I started our family. Eventually it then became more important for me to help facilitate change, impact, and the growth of those around me. While all those things are important and typical when you look at a leader’s work ‘life cycle’ I still could not define what my actual approach and definition was. What was it that drove me to strive to be a better leader? What helped me to continue to drive towards excellence? What was my why?

After a lot of reflection, understanding, and thought I realized that what helped me be a better leader was not my ability to drive results and teamwork through communication, transparency, and the building of trust, but it was my passion for the pursuit of transformation that allowed me to continue to focus on those things. A passion that was centered around helping others transform as they identified and reached their personal and professional goals. When I began to focus on others instead of myself, the passion level increased, and I was more effective leading organizations, employees, and teams on their path of growth and the transformation of their lives, work, and impact. This was especially true when I told my team about my leadership passion and approach. Communicating my passion and approach ensured we were on the same page from day one and allowed us to better understand each other as we continued forward together.

Transformation is never easy, but as I continued to focus my efforts on helping others become aware of their goals, impact, and ability it allowed me to become a more supportive and impactful leader as I pursued my passion of helping others. So, leader to leader, I’d like to ask you, what is your leadership passion? How would you define your leadership approach and how would your employees define it? What is your unique purpose when it comes to leadership and what is driving you to be the best leader you can be? Defining, understanding, and leveraging your Leadership Passion is something that I know can help anyone on their journey of pursuing leadership excellence.

To begin to define your Leadership Passion I would suggest reflecting on what you enjoyed most about each step in your career. Think past the obvious answers of more responsibility, more money, or a better title and focus on what was at the core of your happiness. While we all have good and bad days at the office, even the worst days have a glimmer of light if we really think about it. Perhaps that tough conversation with someone about performance eventually led to them having a personal awareness around how they impact the team which resulted in them becoming more of a team player. Maybe that difficult job that had to be completed over budget with lots of overtime helped you as a business owner identify a better approach to estimating and oversight. Whatever the situation, think critically about what it is in each step of your career that was ‘good’ and excited you as a leader. Some other questions might be:

  • What excited me about being a leader in that job?
  • What worked, and did I like, regarding my leadership approach?
  • Were there approaches to some teams that were more effective than others?
  • What seemed to resonate the most with the team regarding my approach?

Once you have some thoughts around those things, begin to then think about how you would then explain that to someone else. Don’t try to wordsmith your definition to death, but rather start to get some key terms identified that truly define your passion for leadership and your approach. As an example, I define my leadership passion and approach the following way:

“As a leader, I passionately pursue transformation through transparency,  communication, and trust while impacting and serving others.”

There is no right or wrong way to define your Leadership Passion and approach. Defining it takes time and you will probably revise it numerous times, however getting initial thoughts on paper is key as you begin to then communicate it to those you are leading. By letting those you are leading know and understand your definition you will continue to align your leadership approach with your team’s perception of that approach. This alignment will then allow your team to not only advance but will continue to enhance your impact as a leader. 

The 6th President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, summarized this thought about leadership passion and the pursuit of leadership excellence the best by saying,

“If your actions inspire other to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”

While there probably are 800 definitions of leadership, my challenge is that the true definition of leadership is how you define it and what works for you and the team you are leading. Focusing on your leadership passion and approach while letting those you are leading understand that approach is key to your continued success as a leader. 


If you are interested in having a conversation or learning more about defining your Leadership Passion be sure to check out our Thrive program at: https://arboriskinsurance.com/arborisks-thrive/

Seeing the Forest Because of the Trees

Seeing the Forest

Because of the Trees

Written by Kevin Martlage

The idiom “Can’t see the forest for the trees” is one of those old sayings that can bring about many different interpretations based on the context in which it is being used. Typically, it is used when describing a person who cannot see the situation they are in because they get so consumed and lost in the details, they lose the perspective of the overall bigger issue. They are focused on the individual ‘trees’ and therefore are unable to understand the landscape of the entire ‘forest’. As a consultant, I see this all too often especially when it comes to supporting leaders and teams on their journey of developing and supporting a sustainable and transparent work environment. Additionally, the idiom becomes a reality when coaching individuals on their pursuit of continual improvement as a leader and business owner.

In previous articles I have written about using flashlights and mirrors to help develop your personal leadership skills and the leadership culture within your organization. The concept is simple and helps you review things by using two different tools: a flashlight and a mirror. The mirror is used to help you see and reflect on those things as the leader you are doing to grow, sustain, or detract from the impact you are making on your team and organization. The flashlight is used to help those you are leading see a unique perspective or point of view when it comes to their ability to help grow, sustain, or detract from their leadership ability and impact. As a leader it is important that you are using both to help enhance your leadership, while also leading and coaching your team to enhance theirs. Using the two tools together can help you and your team grow while building trust and using intentional communication which are both fundamental building blocks of any supportive and successful business culture.

So where does a leader obtain a flashlight and mirror capable of providing this insight? Additionally, how can you use those tools to help identify the ‘trees’ so that you fully understand the entire ‘forest’? I’m sure you can go down to any local hardware store and pick up a flashlight for $4.99 and a handheld mirror for less than that. Both are very simple to use and do not require any specific instructions other than making sure you put the AA batteries in correctly and you continue to keep your mirror clean, so it reflects properly.  Obviously, the idiom of “the forest from the trees” and the concept of flashlights and mirrors are just examples of things that ultimately can help you enhance your ability as a leader. Additionally, I am not expecting anyone to go out and physically buy a flashlight or mirror and immediately things will be “on the right track”. However, there is some power in the understanding of how both can help you navigate your way through the ‘trees’ as you map out the ‘forest’ for your team.

When you are looking at your leadership impact and ultimately your overall business culture, it is sometimes difficult to step back and look at things objectively. This is especially true when you are assessing something like your personal business that you have poured your blood, sweat, and tears into over the years to get you to your current success. Equally difficult is the first time you look in the ‘mirror’ or the ‘flashlight’ shines on something that you suddenly realize may have been impacting things for a long time. Once you come to the realization of identifying some opportunities to advance it then becomes difficult to try and figure out how to advance those things while still staying focused on the day-to-day and other ‘fires’ that may come your way.  Ultimately you then become consumed with even more ‘trees’ that you didn’t know existed, which makes the ‘forest’ seem even more daunting and confusing. So how do you navigate through all of this to ensure that your team and your organization are not feeling the same effects and impact you are while ensuring you are growing as a leader? There are many feasible answers, however I feel strongly that finding a trusted advisor or coach is key to sustainable growth and development as a business leader.  

As I continued to gain more responsibility and more team members throughout my career I often lost track of the overall bigger picture as I remained focused on the details. Focusing on the details is important, but as a leader you also must stay at a high level as you help your team navigate through the forest, which is your company, their day-to-day responsibilities, and ultimately their personal development. It was not until I joined a company out in New York City that I finally realized how important it was for a leader to have a trusted advisor or coach to help understand the entire ‘forest’.

This trusted advisor helped to shine the flashlight and hold up the mirror so that I could begin to see things a bit differently.  Additionally, they helped me to prioritize and delegate the details while empowering my employees to do the same. Without this advisor, I am certain that the overall success of my team and my career would not have been on the same trajectory. I’m sure I would still have been successful, but the journey and my development would have taken a lot longer with the possibility of never reaching the full potential I might have been capable of reaching. There is a possibility that I would still be wandering around the forest as I continued to be lost among the trees, thus causing my team to also be lost.

A leader/trusted advisor relationship can take on many different forms. Ultimately a trusted advisor should be someone you can trust that can help you see things from a different point of view. They should not be afraid to shine the flashlight, hold up the mirror and challenge you as an individual and leader. While it is helpful for this advisor to have some similar industry knowledge it is also beneficial to have someone with an outside perspective that may understand your ‘forest’ and your ‘trees’ from a different business perspective. Trusted advisors can be colleagues, consultants, other business owners or someone you can simply trust to provide you with a different perspective.

If you are interested in continuing to advance your leadership ability and impact through a trusted advisor/coaching approach, my recommendation would be to reach out to us at the Arborisk Thrive team just to have a conversation. Sure, we offer coaching and various services to help you advance as a leader and an organization, but this is 100% NOT an article written as a sales call or advertisement. Rather it is an article written to provide you with a different perspective on how you can continue to focus on your leadership development and ability to lead your team and organization. The conversation will be focused on your thoughts and the direction you would like to take as we help provide some insight and things to consider.

As a consultant I am in the business of positively impacting and supporting people, organizations, and teams on their journey of reaching their full potential. If having a conversation with you about the power of having a trusted advisor or coach is helpful in you pursuing your true purpose, impact, and goals then that is all I can ask. If that conversation identifies the opportunity for a more formal coaching / support relationship with a member of the Arborisk Thrive team then great. If not, then perhaps our conversation helped you to understand your ‘forest’ by identifying one of the ‘trees’ along your path of understanding and success.

If you are interested in having a conversation or learning more about our Thrive program please check out our web site at: https://arboriskinsurance.com/arborisks-thrive/

Employees in Other States

Employees in Other States

Written by Eric Petersen, CIC

There is an increasing trend within the tree care industry for tree services to either be working in other states or hiring remote employees that live in a different state than where they are headquartered. Many times this offers a greater revenue potential or the ability to get the talent on their team that they need to be successful. In fact, for ArboRisk it’s both. We now have employees that live and work in three different states as our insurance agency’s home office. That has allowed us to expand our brand and secure top tier employees that would not have been an option if we were only looking within our home state. 

But with that opportunity, comes some employee management challenges as every state operates slightly different from each other. There are many different issues you as the business owner must address to do this correctly, from payroll tax and unemployment accounts, sales tax, workers compensation, contractual law and other employment laws, the list of to do’s can get lengthy right off the bat. Your insurance agent, accountant, and attorney should be the first three calls you make to determine what you will need to take care of. 

For this article, I am going to focus on the insurance issues with out of state work or employees. 

The first thing you must do is assess how much time your employees will be spending in each state. Are you looking to have a full time remote employee or crew? Does the employee live in the other state and commute across state lines to work out of your shop? Or is there a new project that you want to take on? Perhaps it’s storm work where locations will be changing frequently? The specifics of your situation could drastically change the requirements of what you need to do. I’ve broken it down into two scenarios; Regular Work/Permanent Location or Temporary Work/Location to help you determine what to consider.


Regular Work/Permanent Location
If you are planning on having regular work or employees permanently stationed in another state it is a little easier to comply with. Let’s look at each coverage line to see what you should be concerned with. 

Workers’ Compensation – Because each state handles Work Comp and has different laws with different benefit schedules, you need to make sure to add the other state to your Work Comp policy and assign an estimated payroll for each applicable Work Comp class code. This also applies if you have an employee living in another state, even if they only work in your state. You want to make sure there is coverage for any state that the employee could file for benefits under. If you happen to open a location up in North Dakota, Ohio, Washington or Wyoming, you’ll have to buy a Work Comp policy from that particular state directly. 

General Liability – As long as you are working within the United States, Puerto Rico, US Territories and Canada, your General Liability will cover you. That said, you should report all new locations to your General Liability policy as some insurance companies are not licensed to do business in all states. This means they are not equipped to handle claims that pop up in those states and if they learn of regular operations happening in a state they are not licensed in, they will issue a non-renewal as soon as they can. Like we’ve discussed in many other business tips, it’s much better to build a relationship with your insurance company and be open about the states you are working in than to try to sneak it past them. 

Property & Inland Marine – Your Property policy only covers you at listed locations, so if you have a building or a leased location in another state, add that location to your insurance policy. Inland Marine coverage acts like the General Liability and covers your equipment wherever you go as long as you are in the coverage territory.  

Business Auto – If your vehicles are registered or garaged in a different state than your company’s headquarters, you’ll need to make sure your insurance company knows that as you may be subject to different motor vehicle laws in the other state and need to have different insurance coverages on your policy. 


Temporary Work/Location

Workers’ Compensation – Each state has its own definition of what constitutes temporary work. For some states, like New York, the moment your employees step into the state to work you are subject to the Work Comp laws of their state, while in other states, you are allowed up to 90 consecutive days before their laws become your company’s responsibility. Check with your insurance agent to understand the particular Work Comp laws for the state(s) you will be temporarily working in. 

General Liability – The insurance guideline for temporary work when it relates to General Liability coverage is the same as regular work. Check with your insurance company to make sure they are able to provide the best claims service if you were to have a General Liability claim in another state. Have as many details about the temporary work as possible to give the insurance company the full picture of what you will be doing in the other state and why you want or need to take on this project. Again, by building a relationship with your insurance company, you will benefit much more long term than you would from hiding information from them. 

Property & Inland Marine – If your temporary work involves a written or verbal lease agreement to rent a building, storage shed, parking lot, etc., you want to list that location on the property policy immediately. If your equipment is stored temporarily out of state, again, this is a time for a conversation with your insurance company to make sure there won’t be any trouble with a future renewal policy by being open with them. In your conversation with the insurance company, explain as much about the temporary work as possible. 

Business Auto – When thinking about the temporary out of state exposure for your business vehicles, think about where you are ultimately physically working and garaging the vehicles during the length of the project. All insurance companies understand and accept the fact that you may be driving through various states on your way to a job, so there will not be a limitation of coverage, however, it is important to remember that each state may have different laws for motor vehicle accidents so you could be unintentionally exposing your company to a larger lawsuit if there is an accident. 


As you can see, working in a different state other than your home state can cause some potentially large insurance issues for your tree care company. The best way to ensure your company is properly protected is to talk with your insurance agent and gain the approval of your insurance company before you accept work in another state. Creating an open dialogue between you and your insurance company on your operations is the first step in avoiding a costly and stressful non-renewal situation. 

If you have any questions about out of state work, please contact an ArboRisk team member today.